Whether you are using commercial herbicides or weed killers concocted from home, the same cautions should be considered prior to application. Never apply any weed killers or other pesticide when winds are higher then 5 mph or drifting may occur. Drifting can move the weed killer through the air, away from the intended target. The mixture listed below is non-selective (meaning that is has the potential to kill any and all foliage) and can harm plants you intend to keep. Be sure to only treat the weeds you wish to control and protect valuable plants.
This homemade weed killer has only 3 ingredients, it's SAFER for the environment than commercial herbicides and inexpensive to make. Apply a generous amount directly on the foliage of unwanted weeds in the landscaping, garden, driveway or cracks. I personally HAVE NOT tested this weed killer on every-type of weed, however I have used it with good results in my landscaping and driveway. I use this weed killer as a self-sustaining method and because I personally feel that it has less effects on the environment as a whole.
RESULTS MAY VARY! Results will vary depending on the type of plants and the maturity of them. Some plants may be more resistant to absorbing the mixture. Plants with waxy or hairy foliage may not absorb well and therefore suffer less damage. Try treating waxy-leaved plants when they are young and most tender. Since this mixture is a contact herbicide, some plants will die above ground but not below at the root.
How the ingredients work:
Vinegar - The active ingredient in this homemade weed killer recipe is common household vinegar (or 5% acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar.) It has the ability to remove moisture from the plants foliage, killing the top growth.
Salt - Iodized table salt also aids in drawing moisture out of the plants foliage, maximizing the effects on the plant. Since salt is included in this recipe, AVOID "drenching" the soil around the plants during treatment in areas where you wish to maintain healthy soil, such as in the landscaping and gardens. When used in the same area over time, salt can build up in the soil and leach into other areas, causing harm to valuable plants.
Dish Soap - Dish soap will help improve the plants absorption of the active ingredient in this mixture. It breaks down the cuticle surface on the foliage, making the weed more susceptible the vinegar and salt. It also helps the mixture stick to the leaves, rather than running off. Liquid dish soap is best used, dishwasher detergent and hand soap will not be as effective.
HOMEMADE WEED KILLER RECIPE
Any brand can be used...
1 gallon of vinegar
1/2 cup of table salt
Squirt of dish soap
Empty pump sprayer
Mix all ingredients in the pump sprayer and shake well. Leftover mixture can be safely stored until the next time it is needed.
Garden Trends is not endorsing any of the above brands in this photo. Feel free to use whatever brand you desire.
Use this mixture safely and with common sense. Eye, skin, digestive and skin irritation may occur in some people. Protective clothing is recommended during use.
If you are concerned about using salt and/or dish soap in the environment, straight vinegar can be used with no other ingredients, although, it may take longer to see effects. If using vinegar in the environment is a concern, then hand-pulling weeds may be your best option.
By Dannielle Doyle
* While every attempt has been made to provide accurate and effective information, the author and Garden Trends does not assume responsibility for inaccuracy or outcomes resulting from the misuse of this material. Furthermore, opinions are that of the authors only.